Sunday Night Stats on Monday Morning

Did you ever work so hard in a week, that you just needed to lay down for 20 minutes after dinner and didn’t wake up until the next morning!?  Sure you did.  It happens to all of us.  Well, that’s what happened to me last night after my Open House in Bryant and after inputting a new listing in Redmond.  Just took a nap and never woke up until 6:00 a.m this morning.

In this business the days sometimes just keep running together one after the other and you forget when you last had a day off, or a haircut, or your nails done.  You just keep working day after day until the job is done, and the time frame just keeps switching from this “right now” to the next “right now”.

There is no “have a nice weekend” in real estate.  There is no “what’s your schedule like” in real estate.  On any given day the phone rings and sets a chain of events into motion that has no end until the work is done.  And when your clients have small children, you really roll up your sleeves and pitch in until the house is ready for market.  I have 4 sets of clients with children, all getting their houses ready for market, and 2 of the 4 moving to new houses nearby.  The work is back-breaking, but very satisfying when the job is done and the home is photo ready and Open House ready and Broker’s Open ready, and then you do the photos and the Open Houses and the Broker’s Opens, and it just keeps going until the house is sold.

Everyone wants a list of what an agent does.  Truth is we do whatever it takes to achieve the objective.  Everyone working all at the same time, owners of the homes and agents alike, all working toward the common goal of getting everything just so and on market.

Whether it’s a home built in 1910 in Bryant:

Seattle Home in Bryant

Bryant Home

Or a newer townhome in Redmond:

Rivertrail in Redmond TownhomeRivertrail Townhome

Perfection is the expectation of buyers.  So you just keep working till you get it as perfect as you can.  And the poor Moms who live there with their small children, have the undaunting task of trying to keep it that way day after day.  Getting the kids ready for school and leaving the house in perfect order for showings, is no easy feat.

So this Mother’s Day I ask that you all give honor to the Mom’s with homes on market…and the Mom’s like me who turn into everyone’s Mom when helping them get the job done.


And now for Sunday Night Stats on Monday Morning.  I won’t be doing the April month end stats until next week, as there will be many month end closings posted during this week.  So let’s just do the normal weekly stuff. 

I expect if I’m this busy getting properties on market, two on and at least three to go over the next few weeks, that every agent is busy prepping homes to get them on market.  So inventory should be rising even more in the next 30 days.

King County Residential:

For Sale:  9,372 at a million or less – DOM 53 – MPPSF $225.58 and 1,591 over $1M – DOM 68 – MPPSF $371 Total Residential King County homes on market this morning 10,963.  That is 135 more than last week, after netting out those that went into escrow from those that came on market this week.

In Escrow: 2,750 – DOM 45 – MPPSF $212, that’s 81 less than last week due to month end closings with MPPSF dropping from $214 to $212.  That reflects a drop in asking prices, not sold prices.  Expectation is the sold prices of those 2,750 will be less than the $212 MPPSF asking prices.  Though some did sell for over asking price with multiple offers, the median will likely be more like $210 or so.

Closed YTD: 5,109.  That’s 463 more than last week with DOM of 51 days and MPPSF of $220 for the year to date which is up a buck for closed sales.

Given the median days on market for In Escrow is going down, the price issue of down to $212 MPPSF for those in escrow, is likely due to increased competition and homes coming on market being more realistically priced to sell.  At least for the ones that are actually selling and going into escrow.


King County Condos:

For Sale:  3,784 – that’s 10 more on a net basis than last week.  DOM 57 – MPPSF $323 (about the same)

In Escrow: 900 – that’s 46 less than last week due to month end closings – DOM up from 43 to 48 – MPPSF up from $303 to $305.  Remember those are asking prices, not sold prices.

Sold YTD: 1,675 up 158 over last week – DOM 48 – MPPSF $288 – that is DOWN from $290 last week and EQUAL to the MPPSF of 2007 all months combined.  Given most of last year was strong, condos just now reaching MPPSF of all of last year is a pretty strong statistic for condos.  You would think all of this year would be equal to the last 5 months of 2007.  But they are still running high relative to 2007 compared to the single family home market, but starting to dip on a YOY basis, which is to be expected. 

Amazing how strong the condo market is.  I suspect new construction and condo conversions are giving resale condos a run for their money and strong competition.  That is keeping the MPPSF up, though for resale…not necessarily so.

That’s it for Stats this week.  When I do month end stats for end of April YOY next week, we’ll break down some of the areas like “within 2 miles of Microsoft” and certain Zip Codes from weak ones to strong ones.  So if you are hoping to see a break down of a given area, it’s time to get your requests in for next week.      

One of our agents listed a property at $350,000 in Tacoma three weeks ago and has had NOT ONE showing since it was listed.  My listing in Bryant listed at $529,950 had 6 showings in the first two days + more than 20 people at the first Open House yesterday.  So there is a lot of difference in activity from one area to the next.

Getting the property ready for market, and good photos, have become critically important.  No more stick the sign up “as-is” and wait for offer…    

This entry was posted in Sunday Night Stats and tagged by ARDELL. Bookmark the permalink.


ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

100 thoughts on “Sunday Night Stats on Monday Morning

  1. as you probably know my little company has been preparing properties for sale since 1988. we have two or three teams working every week. it is hard work, but once you have a system in place it gets easier.

    your listing in Bryant is in my neighborhood and presents a challenge of new construction next to it. how do you think that impacts resale or pricing? it’s a challenge in city real estate is having more of.

  2. David,

    My experiment of lower commissions doesn’t leave any room for “teams” except the owners and Kim and I as to cost factors. Whether it’s Redfin or me or many like us, the question is CAN commissions be lower to get the job done? Jury’s still out on that one. But the world wants to know…so some of us are giving it a fair shot.

    As to “new construction next door”, that’s Gordon’s project. It’s into framing stage. The benefit is new homes on street often boost resale value for the buyer down the road. Also Gordon isn’t putting up three “skinnies” on the three lots, but instead is putting two nice ones.

    The street behind, as you probably know, did a couple of “tall and skinnies” on two 2500s. My listing is one house built in 1910 on two 2500s and Gordon’s new construction is two houses on three 2500s. He also left the really nice tree in front and the plantings on the side, something new construction usually doesn’t do.

    What do you think of the price at $529,950? Stop by the Broker’s Open on Wednesday and give me your thoughts. I think it’s Wednesday, I’ll check and give you the times. I’d love to meet you. Be back with the date and time. I know the Redmond townhome is tomorrow. Haircut is today YAY! 🙂 The rest of the week is a blur.

  3. The Bryant house on 27th Ave. is Wednesday from 11-2 and the Redmond Rivertrail Townhome is tomorrow from 11:30 to 1:00. Hope to meet you on Wednesday, David. Maybe Kary and Leanne will stop by as well. I feel like I know you all already, but would be great to meet you in person. Of course I’ll look like crap, but with a fresh haircut 🙂 I feel like I’ve aged five years in the last week.

  4. Biliruben,

    I’ll assume you’re talking about the Bryant house 🙂 The second two photos are the Rivertrail Townhome in Redmond.

    The Bryant house is 1,060 on the main level and 1,050 finished sf in the basement. It has an attached garage and a detached garage in the back. I think two garages is our “claim to fame” 🙂 I think it’s priced well all things considered. Just had another agent call saying “is it still available”? That’s always a good sign.

  5. I brought that dining room set and coffee table in early in the week, and pulled my back out getting that heavy glass table top in. I took it right out of my house.

    I usually use two round ones that are lighter weight, but that house didn’t suit a round table and both my round tables are “out”. One is in Bellevue in Ardmore and the other is in a garage in Rivertrail waiting for the painter to get done. The heavy Queen Anne set and wood coffee table that the owner had, made the house look smaller. So we brought in the big glass replacements.

    Pulling my back out at the beginnng of the week and working straight through is probably what got to me. I’m heading to the hairdresser to relax in the chair for an hour or so.

  6. This seems as good a spot as any to gauge your reactions to the the deep discount broker we used to sell our house in St. Louis. Our sale closed March 17, 2008.

    The broker/owner is Cheryl Johnson; website is

    The site includes an article from the Feb. 1, 2008, issue of the St. Louis Business Journal. Here’s a quote from that article:


  7. OK. For some reason the quote didn’t make it into my message. Here’s another try:

    “On average, Johnson of Johnson Realty spends only about four hours total for filing, listing, contract
    negotiation and bringing a home to close. “That’s no different than what any other agent would spend,
    but a lot will try to make the process seem so hard because they have to justify a high price,” she
    said. Rather than indulge in her share of the commission, which she said still bounces around 6
    percent in the St. Louis market, Johnson charges a flat fee of $500 for MLS listings, plus 0.34 percent
    commission at closing. In 2007, her second year in St. Louis, Johnson sold 101 homes.”

  8. denismurf,

    Well you answered the question I had earlier as to whether your “Cheryl Johnson” is the “CJ Cheryl Johnson” of “The Blogosphere”. Not 🙂 Your Cheryl is about 30 years younger.

    I can’t imagine spending 4 hours total on a listing ever! From start to finish? From get it ready to go on market to closing?

    Did it all really take only 4 hours on your property, DeniSmurf? I find that part hard to believe. It takes me 4 hours just to do one Open House. How can it take 4 hours to do everything for 45 or more days?

    For comparison purposes, one fo the above is a $5,000 listing, but that’s in combination with their purchase for a total of $15,000 vs. 3% on each side which would have been $36,000 or so. I cut that a little too deep and usually don’t go below $20,000 total. The other I’m trying at 1.5% on the sell side and 1.5% on the buy side. For one side only I usually stop at 2% or so. When I get under $10,000 on a side, I usually end up regretting it, especially in this new slower market.

    The trick is to make sure the client doesn’t suffer in any way as a result of the changes we experiment with.

    Tell me how 4 hours total cuts it, if one Open House would exceed the quoted total time in that article? Is someone with a job and two kids supposed to do it all themselves, including the broker’s open house and the weekend open house?

    It took us 8 hours just to restage and line up the photos on that house #2, and it was already on market when I got there. That’s before editing the photos and loading up the mls and Zillow.

    It worked for you though…do you have two kids under the age of 4 🙂

  9. “On average, Johnson of Johnson Realty spends only about four hours total for filing, listing, contract negotiation and bringing a home to close.”

    I don’t see how that could possibly be “the average” time. I can’t think of a one, even in a hot market that took 4 hours total. Even the one where the owners called me “the Speedy Gonzales of Real Estate” took a lot longer than 4 hours, and that sold on the 2nd day on market before any open houses were needed. The buyer wanted her friends to see it and the buyer’s agent went on vacation. It took almost 4 hours just to accommodate that request. How can someone only devote 4 hours in total from before it goes on market to close of escrow?

    Sorry…not off to haircut yet obviously. But I find that hard to believe.

  10. i takes me a minimum of 40, with an average of 100 hours to work with a buyer or seller. it’s just a routine that I have. i agree many real estate agents don’t put in the time.

    my cleaning, construction company is a stand alone that pays for itself, it has since 1988. over the years it has expanded and contracted. my wife manages the cleaning business today, while i do larger projects.

    we are in the service business. i personally believe that real estate is a service industry.

    real estate commission is a tough way to make a buck. my income is from a variety of income streams most dealing with real estate matters.

    discount brokerage is kind of a myth. in the State of Washington an agent is supposed to work for a buyer or seller to the best of thier ability.

    so if i charge say, $500 i still have to put in the 40 hours with an average of 100 hours because that’s my routine. i still have to mobilize resources to do the kind of job i know has to be done to ensure you get the very best service available at a reasonable cost.

    there again i believe commission dollars are for the liability of the transaction rather than a compensation for my time and experience.

  11. If they spend 4 hours they’re probably incompetent, because just putting it into the system doesn’t take that long. But a full service agent would easily spend 10x that amount of time at a minimum. It’s apples and oranges.

  12. David,

    So if every client gave you a hold harmless letter that eradicated “liability” your services would be FREE? What would the cost be if you eradicated liabiltiy? And no fair saying it’s not possible. If NO liability, how would that change your fee structure?

  13. Kary,

    Different business model does not = “incomepetent” obviously, since DeniSmurf is CLOSED.

    ‘…a lot will try to make the process seem so hard because they have to justify a high price,…

  14. Remember, folks, it’s Cheryl Johnson who makes that 4 hour claim, not denismurf 🙂

    Here’s a list of things either she or one of her part-time assistants did over the 5 months from listing to close:

    Fill out listing agreement forms at her home/office
    Walk through house and make suggestions on what to stage and fix up (assistant)
    Compile comps for us to use in setting price
    Post our pictures and text on MLS and other web sites
    Send us one offer that she recommended we not respond to
    Cut asking price as we instructed
    Send us second offer and transmit messages till price agreed
    Finish off paperwork after WE negotiated inspection issues (extra fee for negotiating the inspection would have been about $125)

    Does that sound like 4 hours of work?

    Anything not listed above we did ourselves. This included holding open houses and placing ads in the student newspaper for the nearby college – Washington U. As we expected, the buyer turned out to be a new faculty member at Washington U. He and his wife had been following our house online and made their offer right after we dropped the price. Sound familiar, Kary?

    Buyer’s agent commission we selected on Cheryl’s recommendation was 2.7. She said business was so rotten that she couldn’t imagine anybody’s not showing our house over that .3 difference from the norm.

    A side benefit of our experience was that we had an unusual opportunity to witness the free market in action. Our house was in a development of about 50 others all built on roughly the same plan by the same builder over a 7 year period. There were plenty of comps pointing to 400K as the top and 375K as the bottom of the range. A house one block over went on in August at 390K 2 months before we went on at 389K (clever, eh?). Theirs was listed by a “full service” broker.

    We don’t know how many offers that virtually identical house got. We do know that it was still sitting there listed at 390K when we closed for 362K. We also know that around the 6-month mark they took the bold steps of switching to another full service broker and reducing the price to 375K. 375K was what it took to bring out our buyer 3 months ago. Whether it’s enough today remains to be seen. Two other “identical” houses on the same street hit the market 2 months ago at 410K, already reduced to 399K, on their way down to ???

    That’s how things look to this current buyer and former seller.

  15. Denis wrote: “Does that sound like 4 hours of work?”

    That would depend on how far she had to go to see the house. I was assuming that she never stepped foot inside the house. 4 hours to just do a listing agreement, input the listing and transmit offers would be a lot of time.

  16. Ardell, to answer your question we did have one listing where the longer it took to sell, the higher the listing office commission. The idea was faster meant fewer open houses.

    Also, we’re more likely to reduce the listing commission where the house takes less work to get ready for market. Some people are just really neat people and getting their house ready for market involves saying: “Please remove those pictures of your family.”

    The problem is, it’s sometimes tough to judge how much assistance someone will need up front. Within the past 12 months we’ve gone so far as to help two people pack up and clean. One case we sort of new that going in, and the other it was a total surprise (I think the client just hit a brick wall).

  17. ARDELL – When you do month end stats for April YOY, would you please do all of 98052 and 98072? Thanks, Curious

  18. no, did you miss the service part. we actually provide a service.

    can’t address the johnson thing because it bs, complete and total bs. this is the same tired promise of service discount brokerages have used since 1974 or 1976 i can’t remember.

    the technical term is a list ’em and leave ’em agreement. it does go along with the waiver of liabilty that discounters used to try to get clients to sign.

    nice try on the bait though.

  19. got it, you’re a discount brokerage.

    the denismurf person has a discount brokerage story.

    that’s why you like the rdfn people.

    the problem with them is that they actually do clerical work rather than agency. that’s the advocacy. kind of the same as an attorney.

    it’s bad for the consumer.

    sorry to intrude. my bad.

  20. David,

    We’re not a discount brokerage and I’m not the broker. We don’t tell agents what to charge one way or the other.

    Yes I like the Redfin people. Don’t you? They are very nice people trying to do something different. We’re not “discounters”, we just believe in more options and exploring the possibilities.

    I personally think that most people are just tired of being told it HAS to be just one way and only one way. I think if I can encourage more and more traditional agents to at least think about having a few options, maybe there wouldn’t be an “us against them” culture.

    Some consumers are more capable than some agents, and you know it. Some aren’t. Why just ONE way to do it? That’s all I’m saying.

  21. You didn’t answer my question, David. If it is MOSTLY a fee to cover liability, then what is the fee without liability Craig could probably draft you a hold harmless letter for clients to sign in exchange for the no liability commission. What would it be?

  22. David,

    Even restaurants have an “early bird special”. Almost everything we buy has various options.

    How would you like it if they only sold one kind of cereal and it was $20 a box?

    People like choices and various price options.

  23. I want to throw in my two cents on Cheryl Johnson Realty. I’m an agent in St. Louis, and can tell you that I have shown a few of her listings. She is a discount brokerage that charges her clients a few hundred dollars to basically enter the listing into the MLS, and to sometimes put a sign in the yard and a supra on the door (often times there is a FSBO sign and no lockbox). Many times the listing doesn’t even include room dimensions (a given in our market). As an agent, I am forced to deal with the owners directly until it is time to write a contract. Then I have to go through the official step of faxing it to the broker so that they meet the license laws of the state.

    I recently had a deal with a competing MLS only broker, and the deal would have died if I had listened to the agents response to my offer that the seller would never accept it. I went around the agent directly to the owner (with the listing agent’s permission) and easily negotiated a deal…the same one that the agent said was a definite no without calling the seller.

    If I have plenty of inventory available to show my clients that could work (as is usually in the case during a buyer’s market), a house by Cheryl Johnson or another MLS only – where I have to deal with the owner for negotiations and showings, goes to the very bottom of my stack. There are just too many other homes out there that are much easier to show, and have an agent providing professional advice to the owner to help the deal go more smoothly.

    Of course, if the house looks perfect for my clients, they request to see it, or I run out of other options, I’m more than happy to give it a try. But, it certainly isn’t my first choice.

    Do they sell some homes and save those sellers money? Of course. But, I think most agents would agree with me. And, in a market when there is so much competition, it seems foolish to move yourself to the bottom of the stack by going with an agency like this one.

  24. denismurf – I’m glad it worked out for you with Johnson Realty. It sounds like you did a good job of being priced below the competition, and that helped you get sold.

    BTW, 2.7% is the going rate in St. Louis for the buyer’s agent. I hope that Cheryl didn’t give you the impression that 3.0 is the going rate and that you were getting some special insight that 2.7 is good enough. I’ve been in real estate in St. Louis for 6 years, and it was 2.7 through the sellers market years too. It is only in very low priced areas ($150k or less) that you see many homes listed at 3%. And, in the higher priced areas of Clayton, Ladue and the Central West End ($600k+), you often find commissions offered at 2.25 to 2.5%.

    Ardell – I think your lower priced model makes sense in a market like yours with high prices. But in St. Louis (and many other parts of the country), the majority of homes are selling in the $200-300s. Discounted commissions just don’t work at those prices unless you cut your service.

  25. Karen,

    We have condos in that price range. Our market is all over the place as to price. I think that is why markets like ours should offer more choices. I have a friend who sells in Florida with most sale prices under $200,000. Clearly different markets should offer different options. Otherwise it feels like national price fixing.

  26. Ardell sums up my main point in #25: “People like choices and various price options.”

    I am a person. Ergo, I like choices and various price options. Logic 101.

    We interviewed 2 “full service” agents and 2 other discounters before choosing Johnson, primarily (but not solely) because our neighbor across the street had recently sold a condo through her was happy with the experience.

    Our last visit to St Louis happened to coincide with the open house/debut of a neighbor’s house as a FSBO. They were impressed that our house had actually sold and asked if we could recommend Johnson if the FSBO thing didn’t work out. Without going into the details of our conversation, it took me only a minute or so to conclude that they would need a level of service way beyond what Johnson provides. And I told them so without directing sarcasm and negative innuendo at Johnson personally or discounters generally. It can be done.

  27. Hi Ardell, your listings look great! And, I’m not one for the 4-hour listing special … what a concept :-)!

    Can’t make it to the open tomorrow, but one of these days our paths will cross.

  28. Hi Ardell,

    Great stats and great posts! I bought my first home in January and am a little scared given the current trends :). Your stats help me in understanding the current market and what to expect.

    One request – Could you include zipcode 98074 in your April YOY analysis please?

    Also, where are townhomes included in your stats? SFH or condos?


  29. OK, i’ll bite.

    it’s called a limited service agreement, it’s been available as long as i can remember and people always have choices. to promote the idea that they don’t or didn’t, is wrong.

    it’s all liablity. every real estate transaction is a liability.

    i’m paid by my broker who enters into an agreement with the buyer and seller. i represent my clients and the brokerage i have an agreement with.

    the waiver of liability was at one time a part of the limited service agreement some brokerages promote. i haven’t seen it in years because, i think, it is contrary to the system we have in place in this State. i can’t remember, it’s been so long.

    we have a rdfn deal now and the woman doing the paper work is very nice. she has a very limited understanding of real estate, a real estate transaction, or how to get the deal done, but it is nice paper work. don’t worry, we’ll fix it in the interest of serving our client to our clients benefit.

    i’m very angry today with this blog. it all makes sense now, but my understanding was that this blog was set up as a part of or

    what i found is that this is an advocate of the internet business model of selling real estate. of course the attorney can fill in paper work for a fee because the consumer is doing the “leg” work. let’s take a look.

    in the area you have a listing in Bryant there is an agent who spends thirty thousand dollars a month on advertising. he works an area of between the ship canal, up to about 130th from lake washington over to about aurora.

    in twenty plus years he has walked the neighborhood, talked on the phone with thousands of people and is, in my opinion, an expert.

    he stops at about 130th because, as a courtesy, there are other agents who work there. most notably Chuck Cady who is the very best real estate agent i have ever met, and i’ve met a lot. since 1984 chuck has gotten up, gone to the office, and done his job. he works in about a five mile radius.

    there are agents that spend six hundred thousand a year to provide thier clients with the very best exposure the market place has to offer.

    then the internet tells us that for a rebate and a very nice web site you can become familiar with the real estate business; product (houses), neighborhoods, market trends, economic conditions, economic viability of a property, land use, permitting, and local government trends in order to leverage yourself into what has become a quarter to half a million dollar transaction.

    never mind negotiations with who is, in most cases, a seasoned professional, you can do it yourself, and save the commission. it’s fun and easy, they tell you. all you have to do is pay the internet business model for providing you with the tools and resources of using the web sites.

    then it’s the time to figuer it out, then it’s the time to get up to speed, and then it’s the time for a lot of things.

    we’re seeing people globally who own over priced properties, in my opinion, due to a hype of real estate through the internet. real estate is a very complex business. the idea that it’s find a house and make the paper work is wrong.

    this something for nothing business model has permeated every aspect of commerce today. in most cases it’s a cash transaction. when you add in thirty years of mortgage that is leveraged at any level it’s high risk.

    a quarter to a half million dollars, leveraged is a risk for any one. telling the public this is the same as a fifty thousand dollar stock purchase is just wrong. the stock is cash, if you were to leverage it would be different.

  30. Aiboh,

    Townhomes in Seattle are generally included as “Residential”, while on the Eastside they are “Condos”. This has to do with whether or not the land is subdivided and owned by the townhome owner.

    On the Eastside they generally build many townhomes without subdividing the land between each into separate parcels. The land is commonly owned. So the townhomes are condos.

    In Seattle the lots are usually separated into individual parcels and when you buy the townhome, you also buy the land under it individually and not jointly with the other townhome buyers. So it is a Single Family Residence and not a condo.

    “townhome” is not a legal class. Every “townhome” is either a condo or a single family home.

  31. Curious requested Redmond 98052 and Woodinville 98072. Aiboh rquested Sammamish 98074. Just keeping a running tab since this post went in two directions.

  32. Good explanation, Ardell. Personally I question how well the townhome system in Seattle will work over the long run (maintenance issues). But I also see problems with very small condo complexes, which is what most the Seattle non-condo townhomes would be if they were condo. I’m not familiar with condo townhomes on the eastside. Am I correct in assuming most are larger projects (more than 20 units)?

  33. David,

    Understanding blogging has its learning curve. Blogging is part of WEB 2.0 where people talk to one another out in the open about various topics. There really isn’t a hidden agenda, if you are trying to find it. Come back next month and the topics and conversation changes. If you are trying to find a single purpose to Rain City Guide, you won’t. It’s like a living online news and opinion source.

    You could come here next year and find ARDELL gone and replaced with someone who agrees with you more. It is not my site…I just write here.

    Getting angry about change is very common, hence the popularity of the tiny book “Who Moved My Cheese” whose most simply profound line is:

    “What would you do if you were not afraid?”

    Clearly the internet has changed the way people find homes. When I started in real estate faxes were not legal, we had no cell phones, we still picked up keys to houses at the listing agents office…etc.

    The way we do business has changed greatly in the 18 years I have been in the real estate business. To suggest that the way we do it should stay the same, given all of the changes in that time, is wishing that things would stay still…they don’t.

    Yes, I fault the industry for not “stepping up to the plate” when Buyer Agency first came to be. I fault the industry for keeping same old, same old in place after Buyer Agency become a factor. BUT I waited a good 12 – 15 years before becoming overly annoyed by a system that refused to change.

    That’s my opinion, and it was my opinion in real estate agent forums LONG before blogging and Rain City Guide. That’s just Ardell’s opinion. YMMV

  34. Kary,

    The closest the Eastide comes to Seattle as to building townhomes is here in Downtown Kirkland where they similarly and sometimes take an individual SFH lot and put a couple of townhomes on it. I’ll check if those are SFH when they finish or condos. Otherwise they are most often condos and more than 20 units.

    We do have what I call “twin” single family developments…a couple. One in Kirkland and ne in Bellevue. Two units, one party wall, separated lot parcels. The Bellevue one runs like a condo with high dues and a pool, etc. The other runs like single family with no HOA maintenance of the units and dues of $50 or so a month for common areas. Those are included in the Residential Stats, though most agents list them as both Residential and Condo.

    The difference is the value and availability of large parcels of land. Downtown Kirkland…NOT. Most of Seattle…NOT. No room to put a lot of units and common amenities translates into non-condo, most of the time.

    Now I seriously have to get dressed for my Broker’s Open in Bryant. See ya there!

  35. David,

    I don’t like Redfin any more than Coldwell Banker…I just don’t like them any LESS either…and neither should YOU. Refusing to spell their name correctly tells us all we need to know about you…and that is just SO WRONG!

  36. Thanks Jonathan,

    I do it (not just advise) myself, but I am not equipped to bring in furniture other than a few items. In the Bryant house in the top two photos, Kim and I brought in the table and matching coffee table, but I hurt myself and had the homeowner help Kim in with the big glass table top once we got to the house. Looking at those two photos, I brought in the pictures and the candles and the flowers and the small things on top of the kitchen cabinets. The sofa, chair and globe/bar are the owners. I use what I can of theirs and add.

    In the lower photos at the townhome, I brought two carloads of stuff, but the furniture, except for two bar stools that I bought specifically for that townhouse, is the owners. I made the arrangement of silverdolars on the bureau and put the wreath up over the bed to soften the starkness of the purple.

    The owners and I work together until we have it the way we want it.

    Here are the rest of the photos in the Zillow links. oops…Zillow is down. I’ll try later.

    I’m not equipped to do a vacant from empty to fully furnished, though I have done some blow up beds with bedding and things we can carry without a big truck. We have two round glass tables. Both are “out” at properties I have a Meadowview coming up next Wednesday and will be staging that on Monday.

    I don’t show before and after photos, as I find that to be insulting to the homeowner. I only show the after shots.

    In the second photo you can see how placing pictures and things on each wall in sequence, you create “depth” and a 3d effect to the flat photography.

    Stagiong is NOT “decorating”, and that is the hardest thing to explain to owners, and even to some stagers. You enhance the real estate…you don’t decorate a room. You have to be able to see “the forest for the trees”.

    Again, I appreciate your comments. It’s hard work. Probably the hardest part of the listing for me, and very rewarding when people take notice. Thanks!

  37. Sort of off topic but since it’s been brought up — “Fee simple” and non-condo Eastside townhomes are rare. We’re working on three projects, one in Kirkland and two in Bellevue, and both are among the first those cities has processed. And they’ve taken years to push through, although I’m sure more are coming. The only comparable sales our appraiser found were condo’ed units, which are less valuable (maybe b/c there is no fee-simple ownership of your grounds, less control, plus inevitably large HOA dues that you avoid with the “zero lotline” or fee simple townhomes.)

  38. Gordon–I’d question which will be less valuable in 10 years. A condo with some reserves or a fee simple unit that is in need of maintenance? I suspect other cities have had more experience with these things than we have here in this area, so to some extent it’s just lack of experience that scares me.

    One unit I saw in Seattle had covenants that required the unit exteriors to be painted every 10 years. That just doesn’t seem like a very good way to run things.

  39. Kary,

    To me it’s just a single family home. Some are attached and some aren’t. You get to paint your front door whatever color you want. Plant whatever you want. Just like any other neighborhood with no covenants to me.

    Same for future value issues. Some houses have deferred maintenance and some don’t. Not any different than a neighborhood of old ramblers really.

    Does being afraid of them go back to having an aversion to “messy” neighbors 🙂 What do you do in any neighborhood where an owner doesn’t mow their grass, has weeds, has rotted eaves and a patched roof?

    Some people like a neighborhood where the neighbors get to dictate to one another regarding home maintenance issues. Others like the freedom of being restricted only by City regs.

  40. Well first, I’m pretty sure you’re going to have covenants with these things. As I mentioned, one I looked into required the exterior painting every 10 years (whether it needs it or not). And second, there’s a difference between having a messy neighbor, and having a house attached to your own house that has obvious deferred maintenance. As I mentioned, I have an issue with small condo projects too, but at least with those you’re going to have uniform maintenance.

  41. Some of our developments actually have “detached” townhomes, which are effectively single family homes on small lots. Most are comprised of small clusters, duplex and triplex buildings. And the way these are built, your adjacent neighbor could really let his place go and other than the roof (which replacement is called for in the CCR’s) it won’t physically damage your unit.

    As for covenants, there are some on the shortplat calling for — as Kary noted — roof/painting. We overlay that with an eight page document that our attorney writes for each project which hopefully covers more of the eventualities. Sort of like the CCR’s for a planned development like Mill Creek with some design covenants and “no blue tarp” rules.

    I own a condo and I really dislike being part of an association — too many cooks in the kitchen. I want to spend money to maintain and upgrade, and most owners want to just do the bare minimum. Like those neighborhoods of neglected ramblers. I’d rather take care of my own spaces like we can do with the zero lotlines.

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